Functional cure on the horizon?
Sep 14, 2012
Your work here is much appreciated. I'm sure it benefits countless people all over the globe. Thank you.
I'm HIV negative myself (on account of exclusive safe sex practice); Have a general question regarding a functional cure.
Realistically speaking, how far do you think, in terms of numbers of months or years are we from, say a weekly/monthy or even once in 3/6 months shot/pill, which could perhaps be seen as a viable "funcutional" cure?
We have already seen lightyears advancements reaching upto Atripla & the upcoming QUAD pill...so i believe it is reasonable to assume such a cure is expected?
Response from Dr. Young
Hello Chen and thank you for posting your forward looking question.
Things in the HIV treatment world continue to evolve and improve- witness this month's approval of STRIBILD (previously known as Quad).
We've gone from HIV regimens that were three times and many pills a day to our now third single tablet regimen.
This last week at the ICAAC meeting we heard further about new medications that, if approved, could probably be dosed much less frequently than once daily. Once a month or even every three months looks like possibilities. Indeed, the newest investigational integrase inhibitor, Viiv's "744" looks like every 3, and maybe even 6 months could be a long-range possibility.
Of course, a functional treatment regimen would require more than one drug, so we'll need to wait for improvements in the drugs and their delivery systems for this to be achieved.
As for functional cure, there remains many active, but very early stage investigations- that we've seen 3 cases of probable HIV cures should give everyone hope in this area.
Of course, all of this requires ongoing investment and commitment in scientific discovery; it's important to realize that as treatments get better, that the benchmark for demonstration of safety and effectiveness also gets higher (and better)- so this process will take time. Fingers crossed for the long run.
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